safety

Construction Safety Sign for Employees

I think we all like to be safe. We want our kids to be safe. We will sometimes yea or nay an activity based on the safety of our kids. Back in the seventies when I was a kid, I was out for most of the day. I walked five blocks to get to swimming lessons on my own as a four year old. Parents would be locked up for something like that today in the world of bubble-wrapped children. But most adults like safety too. We often make decisions based on the end result…we want to shield ourselves and our family from pain.

I have watched a few episodes of a cop show over the Christmas break and argue with the officer in my head every time he tells a victim that they’ll catch the bad guy and everything will be okay…even if the victim has a bomb around his neck and the detonator is in the hands of a serial killer. I keep telling the TV that you can’t make promises like that.

One pastor writes, more than once, that it’s his job to help his people suffer well. I like that. Because life is full of suffering…difficulties in the local church body…friendships that go south…unqualified supervisors on the job…misunderstandings with unbelieving neighbours…unforgiveness in the household…negative medical results. A lot of suffering for the believer though, is often faith related.

Have we bought into the false belief that if a person is saved that life will be a walk in the park? The more I think on the Word of God, bold men and women of the faith come to the forefront of my mind who were hammered on for their God-honouring choices. I quickly flip through the Word in my head and think of my go-to-guys and gals of faith…Joseph, Job, Esther, Paul, and the Lord Jesus Himself. I also think through the saints of history and of current day who have experienced much faith-related pain.

We are not to be milquetoast believers, being timid, and lacking backbone, in order to be safe. But the question is, will we chose safety over boldness and courage? Boldness and courage flows out of the gospel.

Let me remind you of a few passages that clue us in to the fact that this life can be rough:

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
(2 Timothy 3:12 ESV)

[21] When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,[22] strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
(Acts 14:21-22 ESV)

[51] Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. [52] For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. [53] They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
(Luke 12:51-53 ESV)

I realize that we are to be seekers of peace, but as believers, we will sometimes make decisions that others, even other believers, won’t understand. Being in the business of making disciples is a thrilling but also sometimes difficult adventure. Sharing the gospel with a neighbour or confronting a brother or sister is not for the weak of heart.

Believers sometimes think that the faith calls us to timidity and niceness because God is timid and nice. God is kind. God is good. But God is also holy and sometimes makes His wrath known. In one sense God is safe but in another sense He’s so not.

When the gang from Narnia were a little nervous about meeting Aslan the lion, the Christ-figure in C.S. Lewis’ well-loved books, for the first meeting they were uncertain. They wanted to know if he was safe. They were told:

Safe? Don’t you hear what I’m saying? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course He’s not safe. But He’s good. 

Our faith can take us to the most difficult, trying, painful places in the world. We’ll feel the heat for our faith, if it’s on display. That’s the unsafe part. But I’d rather be in the whirlwind with Jesus than outside His protective custody as an unbeliever. The thoughts of being outside of His care make me shudder. You may have the six figure income and the big house and the trophy wife and the convertible, but outside of the family of God, that’s a very unsafe place to be.

I want to savour the joy of being in His care even if it involves turmoil.

[28] I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. [29] My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (John 10:28-29 ESV)

In the words of a pop song:

Even if the sky is falling down
I know that we’ll be safe and sound…

Even in a hurricane of frowns
I know that we’ll be safe and sound…

Even if we’re six feet underground
I know that we’ll be safe and sound…

Our faith causes us to take risks and be the voice in the wilderness and to make decisions that are so not status quo. We are often called to swim upstream and go against the grain… but there is no safer place to be than in the hands of our loving God, through faith in Jesus.

 

 

 

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